Metro Manila (AdChoiceTV News, October 6) – Around ₱1.82-trillion collections were received by both Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs from January to September 2020.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III confirmed the figure to President Rodrigo Duterte during the weekly Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases meeting on Monday.
Dominguez said the total taxes and customs duties collections in the first nine months of 2020 exceeded the department’s estimate of ₱1.68-trillion. But these overall collections are down by 12 percent compared to the same period in 2019.
“We are 12 percent below last year because of less economic activities,” explained Dominguez.
The country is currently recovering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced massive movement restrictions and widespread closure of businesses.
The Bureau of Treasury reported that in August, the country’s debts reached ₱9.62-trillion as the government sought more funds amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The national government borrowed an additional ₱450.9-billion on August 2020, an increase of nearly five percent from July and more than a fifth compared to August 2019.
In the first monthly progress report of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act made public on Monday, around $9.91-billion worth of loans and grants has been secured so far by the national government to aid its COVID-19 prevention efforts.
The loans for the implementation of COVID-19 related projects came from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the dual-tranche issuance of US dollar-denominated global bonds.
The country has borrowed an additional ₱1.59-trillion so far this year, or 24.4 percent higher than the end-2019 level of ₱7.73-trillion.
Government debt is seen to hit ₱10.16-trillion by December, data from the Budget Department showed.
Despite a record-high number of debts, Dominguez expressed confidence the economy is doing well amid the pandemic.
“We are in a good financial position. We are not under stress. We have a good economy,” Dominguez said. “What is happening is that this very strict quarantine is holding it back. We have to really open the economy more.”